Is the death of the cookie really all that bad? What digital marketers need to know.

The “death of the cookie” refers to the decline of third-party cookies, which are small text files used by websites to track user behavior and deliver targeted advertising. Cookies have long been the backbone of the programmatic advertising industry, but they are facing increasing scrutiny over privacy concerns, which has led to many browsers, including Google Chrome, planning to phase out support for third-party cookies.

The death of the cookie, not the cookie of death

The decline of cookies will have significant implications for digital marketers and the programmatic advertising industry as a whole. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Loss of Tracking Capabilities: Cookies have been the primary tool for tracking user behavior and delivering targeted advertising, but with their decline, digital marketers will lose access to this data. This will make it more difficult to deliver targeted ads and to track the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.
  2. Decreased Targeting Capabilities: With the decline of cookies, digital marketers will have fewer options for targeting their ads. This will make it more challenging to reach the right audience, as targeting will likely be based on less data and less precise targeting options.
  3. Increased Cost: Without the ability to use cookies for tracking and targeting, the cost of programmatic advertising is likely to increase. This is because advertisers will need to use other methods to reach their desired audience, which may be less efficient and more expensive.
  4. Uncertainty: The decline of cookies has created a great deal of uncertainty in the programmatic advertising industry. With many different players involved, it’s unclear what the future of programmatic advertising will look like, and how digital marketers will need to adapt to the new landscape.
  5. Increased Importance of First-Party Data: With the decline of third-party cookies, the importance of first-party data will increase. Digital marketers will need to focus more on building relationships with customers and collecting first-party data, such as email addresses, to make up for the loss of third-party data.

In preparation for the death of the cookie, digital marketers need to take a number of steps to ensure they are well-positioned for the changes to come. Some of the key steps include:

  1. Investing in First-Party Data: As mentioned, first-party data will become more important in the post-cookie world. Digital marketers should focus on building strong relationships with customers and collecting first-party data that can be used for targeting and measurement.
  2. Diversifying Advertising Channels: With the decline of cookies, digital marketers should focus on diversifying their advertising channels and exploring new options for reaching their target audience. This could include developing content marketing strategies, influencer marketing, and other non-programmatic advertising channels.
  3. Building Relationships with Customers: With the loss of third-party data, it’s more important than ever for digital marketers to build strong relationships with their customers. This could involve developing loyalty programs, email marketing campaigns, and other initiatives designed to keep customers engaged and interested in the brand.
  4. Embracing Privacy-Focused Technologies: With privacy concerns driving the decline of cookies, digital marketers should embrace privacy-focused technologies, such as device-level targeting and ID solutions, which allow for more privacy-friendly targeting and measurement.
  5. Staying Up-to-Date: The programmatic advertising industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important for digital marketers to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and trends. This may involve attending conferences, reading industry publications, and participating in industry groups and forums.

In conclusion, the death of the cookie is a significant challenge for the programmatic advertising industry, but it also presents an opportunity for digital marketers to adapt and evolve their strategies.